Note: Beginning Academic Year 2018–2019, MDiv students will follow the Stackable Curriculum. For full program description, refer to the 2018–2019 PSR Academic Catalog.


The Master of Divinity (MDiv) at Pacific School of Religion is a graduate professional degree that prepares students for lay and ordained ministry, related vocations, and further academic study. The program meets the educational requirements for ordained ministry in most major Protestant denominations. Within the framework of a curriculum of required course work in biblical studies, history, theology, ethics, field education, formation for leadership, cultural resources for ministry, and ministerial practices for leadership, MDiv students can shape their course of study to reflect their particular interests or specialized ministries.

We encourage students to pursue an understanding of their own faith tradition in light of global, ecumenical, and inter-disciplinary concerns, institutions, and movements represented at PSR and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Students who complete the PSR MDiv achieve the following program learning outcomes. They will be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of texts and traditions, apply them to particular situations, and critically engage with those texts and traditions
    • Theologically ground ministerial and vocational arts, including preaching, worship leadership, pastoral care, and community organizing.
    • Communicate the theological and/or philosophical and/or aesthetic traditions of one’s own religious community or communities.
    • Engage in creating new theological discourses.
    • Articulate the relationship of a theological and/or religious text to its context of origin and use and understand a spectrum of approaches for interpreting sacred texts today.
  • Recognize all knowledge as contextual
    • Articulate the importance and significance of the various factors that shape one’s own context
    • Demonstrate an awareness of another’s context, especially across differences with respect to race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, class, culture, nationality and religious affiliation, etc.
    • Imagine how to translate across and among various contexts.
    • Avoid inappropriate boundary crossing and misappropriation.
  • Articulate the connection between spiritual practice(s) and the development of a leadership style
    • Demonstrate personal integrity and character based on spiritual values.
    • Practice a spirituality that engages the wider society.
    • Develop a spiritual-rootedness to sustain world-changing work.
    • Effectively link spirituality and leadership in a community of accountability.
    • Engage life and work with cultural humility and respect for cross cultural differences.
  • Form effective partnerships with various organizations and individuals
    • Work effectively with people of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences.
    • Incorporate insights from non-academic contexts.
  • Integrate the various intellectual disciplines, fields, topics, and themes of theological education in the practices of ministry and public leadership in a variety of contexts
    • Articulate a theologically grounded position on social justice issues.
    • Organize community efforts toward achieving social change.
    • Develop a definition of social transformation in critical, constructive, theological, and historical modes.

Entrance Interview     |     Spiritual Formation Plan      |     Vocational Academic Plan (VAP)     |     Middler Review     |     Senior Seminar Essay     |     Exit Interview

For full program description, see the 2018–2019 PSR Academic Catalog.

First Year

Before the end of your first semester of study, usually in October, you will complete an MDiv Entrance Interview in consultation with your advisor. By the end of your first academic year of study, you will submit a Vocational Academic Plan as a statement of covenant between you and PSR for the completion of your degree. This plan proposes a rationale for course selection in light of your vocational plans and denominational and academic requirements. For your convenience, you may download forms and guidelines relevant to these first year milestones, and they are additionally located in your MDiv program manual:

  • MDIV ENTRANCE INTERVIEW
    Submit online by October 31st for Summer/Fall new MDiv students
    or March 30th for Intersession/Spring new MDiv students
  • SPIRITUAL FORMATION PLAN
    Complete Structured Conversation with Campus Pastor at the end of SPFT 1082/8182 (or in Spring semester) and submit your brief plan online by the last day of your first year
  • MDIV VOCATIONAL ACADEMIC PLAN
    Submit online by the last day of your first year

Middler Year

The Middler Review, a meeting held at midpoint in the MDiv program, is a comprehensive review of your theological understanding of ministry, academic record, field education experience, and development of proficiencies in ministry in the light of your denomination’s requirements for ordination and personal vocational objectives.

This Middler Review meeting — attended by you, your advisor, another faculty member, a denominational representative and a peer — is a time of support, assessment, review, and planning. It includes a middler interview with your advisor and the development of a substantive middler theological statement of 15-20 pages which forms the basis for discussion at the review meeting.

Upon completion of this review, you must submit a Middler Review report to your advisor in order to enter the program’s final year. It is strongly recommended and may in some cases be required for students to either have completed or be currently taking their Field Education requirement and Theology requirement before the Middler may be allowed. For your convenience, you may download forms and guidelines relevant to these first year milestones, and they are additionally located in your MDiv program manual:

Senior Year

Finally, you will complete a Senior Integrative Essay at the end of the MDiv program. This essay is developed in the Senior Integrative Seminar (MDV 4500/8400), and should demonstrate the competencies of a person completing the required courses of study in the MDiv, and ready for professional ministry. In addition to this essay, you will also submit an MDiv Exit Interview. For your convenience, you may download forms and guidelines relevant to these first year milestones, and they are additionally located in your MDiv program manual:

MDIV EXIT INTERVIEW
Submit online by the last day of your last year.